Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics Explained

Woman taking a probiotic or prebiotic supplement capsule

The human digestive system is a complex mechanism, responsible for the absorption of nutrients, the removal of toxins, and fighting off certain ailments. In addition to having a healthy diet of leafy greens and other fibrous foods, one of the best ways to ensure that your digestive tract remains healthy and functional is to take a prebiotic, probiotic, or postbiotics supplement.

But, what exactly does a prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic do for your body? In this article, we are going to go over some of the most frequently asked questions about prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics in relation to gastrointestinal health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics

Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics are a powerful trio when it comes to health and wellness. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of them.

Q. What are they?

Microbes inhabit our bodies, and many of them are beneficial to our health. Understanding the difference between probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics can help you understand how they impact your overall digestive health.

In short, prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics are types of beneficial bacteria that help us maintain a healthy intestinal microbiome.

If we eat processed foods, get stressed out often, and don’t take care of ourselves properly, our intestinal microbiome can become imbalanced. This can lead to a whole bunch of unpleasant symptoms later down the road.

However, if we eat a balanced diet, take probiotics and other supplements (preferably natural), and try to minimize stress in our lives as much as possible, then chances are that we’ll be able to keep our intestinal microbiome healthy.

Here are the differences between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics:

  • Prebiotics – Prebiotics are food for probiotics, and there are many foods that have prebiotics in them. Prebiotics help the probiotics grow within your gut, so there is no way to have one without the other. Some examples of prebiotic foods include asparagus, bananas, barley, onions, artichoke, garlic, and oats.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics are living organisms that stay in your gut. There are roughly 39-300 trillion of them! Probiotics help your digestive system by breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.
  • Postbiotics – Postbiotics are the byproduct of probiotic bacteria when they die off or break down in your gut. They help with digestion by aiding in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Postbiotics also help fight bad bacteria in your body before it becomes a problem.

Functions of Prebiotics Functions of Probiotics

Q. When should you use them?

Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics should be taken daily! If we didn’t have the recommended amount of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics in our system, we would have a problem digesting non-fibrous foods. This can lead to bloat, constipation, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Q. How do they work?

Each of us has our own unique microbiome, which is shaped by factors like genetics, diet, and lifestyle. Recently, scientists have learned that the gut microbiome can be affected (in a good way) by taking either prebiotics or probiotics.

But, how do they work?

Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics work in unison to give you healthy digestion. Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in the gut, and prebiotics are what feed them. Postbiotics are the remains of those probiotics after they’ve done their jobs, and they’re known to help with everything from weight management to healthy skin to diarrhea.

Q. What natural foods are they found in?

Prebiotic and Probiotic foods

Some of the most popular foods that contain probiotics are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. Food with prebiotics includes garlic, onions, artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, bananas, and, lentils. Foods known to have probiotics and prebiotics are needed in order to promote the growth of good, digestive bacteria in your gut.

All in all, consuming vegetables, lentils, fruit, and fermented foods is the way to go if you are looking to have a happy digestive system!

Q. Do supplements work?

Yes! Unfortunately, many of us have a less-than-perfect gut microbiome due to the modern diet (lots of refined foods and artificial ingredients, not enough fiber), environmental toxins, and stress.

Although probiotics and prebiotics can be found in certain foods, it can be difficult to get enough of them through diet alone. A supplement can help ensure you get enough to keep your gut bacteria happy and healthy.

Q. Should you take them with food or without food?

Some manufacturers say to take prebiotics or probiotics on an empty stomach, but some research shows that it doesn’t really matter. Do whatever the manufacturer says because the manufacturer may have optimized the supplement to work in a certain way. However, taking it with or without food is better than not taking it at all.

Q. Are there medications or foods you should avoid when taking pre or probiotics?

If you are wanting to start taking a prebiotic, probiotic, or postbiotic supplement, you should avoid taking it with antibiotics. The reason is that antibiotics can hinder the supplement from optimally working in your digestive system.

If prescribed an antibiotic by a doctor, try taking your supplement about 2-3 hours before or after the antibiotic.

Start Your Own Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics Line

The best way to pave the way for a happier, healthier life is through diet, lifestyle changes, and supplements.

So, if you are looking to give your customers the gift of a healthy gut, look no further. At Equinox Nutra, we only use natural ingredients in our formulation to help your consumers maintain happy microbiomes. In addition to using only the best ingredients on the market, we also specialize in making products more effective while reducing overall costs to boost your bottom line.

Are you thinking about adding a prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic supplement line to your business? Connect with us to get a quote today!